On Saturday the 12th September I will be lining up at The Knavesmire in York to run my 100th parkrun. I will be joined by family, friends from the running community and friends I’ve made through business. There will be cake!

For those of you who don’t know what parkrun is here is a quote from their website:

“parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all.”

When I lined up on that cold January morning in 2012 to run the first York parkrun, little did I imagive how big a part it would become in my life. It is now what I do on a Saturday morning, even when I’m on holiday. So what is it I love about parkrun? Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • it has grown organically and is run by the community for the community
  • it is non-judgemental and open to all
  • it is inspiring
  • everyone can set their own target and they are helped to achieve it by the people around them
  • collaboration and mutual support
  • feeling welcomed wherever you run and making new friends every week
  • a chance to run in lovely places (Watergrove near Rochdale is my favourite so far)
  • the ethos that parkrun is a run not a race
  • cake

So, why is parkrun like my business?

Firstly there is the timing of it – the first York parkrun coincided with when I moved into my office at Blake House and really started making it a serious business.

But mainly I feel the ethos of parkrun is similar to my business ethos. The core of my business is to give support to local business owners. I feel that small businesses are the backbone of the business community, adding value to where you live and work, so I use local suppliers wherever possible.  I collaborate with a number of other business owners, including ones who would appear to be direct competition. Over the last year I have been able to set targets and achieve them, with the help of people around me.

Through business I have made many friends and met plenty of inspirational people. Just like parkrun, my business has become part of my lifestyle. And of course, most meetings involve cake!

Read more about York parkrun here.